Germany's infection curve could be flattening off, public health chief says

FILE PHOTO: A head of the Robert Koch Institute Lothar Wieler addresses a news conference on coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

(Reuters) - There are signs that the exponential upwards curve in new coronavirus infections in Germany is flattening off for the first time thanks to social distancing measures in force, the head of the country’s public health institute said on Monday.

“We are seeing signs that the exponential growth curve is flattening off slightly,” said Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute. “But I will only be able to confirm this trend definitively on Wednesday.”

He said he was optimistic that measures taken so far in Germany, including school closures, instructions on hand-washing and strict warnings against public gatherings, were already having an effect.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Scot W. Stevenson